Criminal Law FAQ for Lafayette Indiana Residents
Can I hande the case without a lawyer?
No. Any prosecutor would love to have you represent yourself. This is because you are not in a position to know if the charges are valid. Frequently, individuals are over charged. Many times criminal offenses are subject to dismissal due to evidentiary deficiencies. Further, you may have factual, or legal defenses that you are totally unaware of. Frequently, evidence is seized illegally and may be the subject of a motion to suppress. Our firm has been able to obtain dismissal of criminal charges for hundreds of reasons. If you represent yourself, you give up these potential defenses, and convict yourself automatically. Criminal law recognizes waiver. If you don't raise a defense, you forfeit the right to raise it at a later date.
A favorite technique of prosecutors is to offer a "Deferred Prosecution" or "Conditional Agreement" which results in an apparent quick fix. These agreements may sound good until you read the small print. In order to get these agreements, you essentially plead guilty now hoping that no future problems occur. You also give up your right to a Jury Trial, and throw yourself on the Court's mercy if the agreement falls through. In some circumstances, this agreement may be an excellent resolution, but we have seen hundreds of these agreements fall through with disastrous consequences. Think before you act, and talk with competent Counsel BEFORE you take the quick fix. Criminal convictions follow you throughout your life and create unanticipated consequences.
See also Operating While Intoxicated FAQ